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Media Release: KNP revokes trading licence

Date: 13th October 2008

The trading licence of Galewil Liquors which allows this company to trade in the Kruger National Park (KNP) has been suspended pending a full investigation into last week’s road accident on the Skukuza – Lower Sabie road which resulted in serious injuries to at least seven people.

The trading licence of Galewil Liquors which allows this company to trade in the Kruger National Park (KNP) has been suspended pending a full investigation into last week’s road accident on the SkukuzaLower Sabie road which resulted in serious injuries to at least seven people.

“Our sincere sympathies go out to the victims of this accident, especially our visitors, and we hope and pray for a speedy recovery for all of them. But regarding the incident itself, we cannot allow this sort of behaviour to continue in the KNP and have decided to take action against the offending driver and the company he works for,” said the KNP’s HOD Public Relations and Communication Mr William Mabasa.

According to the report by Lower Sabie Section Ranger, Mr Derick Mashale, the accident happened about 12:30 on Wednesday October 8, 2008. An open safari vehicle (OSV) from Bushwise Safaris, Marloth Park was on the verge of the road facing Skukuza as its passengers were observing buffalos on the left hand side of the road.

Another vehicle was on the verge on the right hand side of the road, facing Lower Sabie, with its passengers watching elephants in the Sabie River.

Eyewitnesses have stated that the delivery truck from Galewil Liquors was approaching from Lower Sabie at high speed. At that time, another vehicle was travelling south towards Lower Sabie between the two stationary vehicles. The delivery truck driver then lost control of his vehicle, slamming into the OSV from behind and pushing the OSV 38 metres before it overturned.

The truck then skidded a further 35 metres before it overturned into the river. A number of people sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident. The OSV had seven guests on board, plus a driver/guide. Three of the guests had serious injuries, the other guests plus the driver suffered light injuries. The truck driver and his co-driver both sustained serious injuries.

Delivery vehicle speeding

“It is clear to us that the driver of this delivery vehicle was indeed speeding, judging from the fact that it eventually came to rest 73 metres beyond the impact point of the accident,” commented Mr Mabasa.

The trading licence of the company has been suspended, pending a full investigation into the accident.

“We apologise to our guests and to our business partners in advance as this suspension might result in delivery delays at the various restaurants and shops that were serviced by this contract, but we cannot afford to allow this sort of behaviour by anyone, including our business partners. We hope this move will also act as a deterrent, preventing similar situations in the future,” concluded Mr Mabasa.

KNP Management would also like to commend the actions of the Mpumalanga Emergency Medical Services and Ambulances, as well as the Skukuza medical doctor and the Skukuza Ambulance for the swift reaction time they took to respond to the accident.

Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: raymondt@sanparks.org

Enquiries:
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: williamm@sanparks.org

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